evac·​u·​ate | \ i-ˈva-kyə-ˌwāt How to pronounce evacuate (audio) , -kyü-ˌāt \
evacuated; evacuating

Definition of evacuate

transitive verb

1 : to remove the contents of : empty
2 : to discharge from the body as waste : void
3 : to remove something (such as gas or water) from especially by pumping
4a : to remove especially from a military zone or dangerous area
b : to withdraw from military occupation of
c : vacate sense 1 were ordered to evacuate the building

intransitive verb

1 : to withdraw from a place in an organized way especially for protection
2 : to pass urine or feces from the body

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Other Words from evacuate

evacuative \ i-​ˈva-​kyə-​ˌwā-​tiv How to pronounce evacuative (audio) , -​kyü-​ˌā-​ \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for evacuate



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Examples of evacuate in a Sentence

People who live along the coast are being evacuated as the hurricane approaches. During World War II, children were evacuated from London to the country. Residents were ordered to evacuate the building. Residents have been ordered to evacuate.
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Recent Examples on the Web The Sheriff’s Office ordered residents living near Crest Drive and 16th Street or along Mountain View Avenue to evacuate at 12:15 p.m. Anna Bauman, SFChronicle.com, "Vegetation fire prompts evacuation orders in Oroville, threatens structures," 17 June 2020 When universities were ordered to evacuate west, toward the relative safety of China’s interior, 77 abandoned their home campuses. Janie Chang, Time, "The Risky Journey That Saved One of China’s Greatest Literary Treasures," 15 June 2020 In Guizhou Province, authorities said Saturday that 700,000 people have been affecting by the flooding, including 29,500 people who have been forced to evacuate. Fox News, "China floods kill 5 more, as rainstorms impact some 700,000 residents," 14 June 2020 Nokes said several businesses in the area, including a bakery and some industrial companies, had to evacuate during the gas leak. oregonlive, "Gas leak at Beaverton building sends one person to the hospital with life-threatening injuries," 10 June 2020 Just Monday, Forbes said, residents of Isle de Jean Charles were forced to evacuate because of Tropical Storm Cristobal. Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner, "Republicans look to save Obama climate change program threatened by pandemic," 9 June 2020 That was too much for the Chinese, who assembled a naval squadron in early 1624 and attacked the Dutch position, eventually forcing them to evacuate. Michael Schuman, The Atlantic, "When China Met the West," 6 June 2020 People in more than 200 homes were ordered to evacuate about 5 p.m. Jacob Beltran, ExpressNews.com, "Father in suspected murder-suicide of San Antonio family was Fort Sam GI," 5 June 2020 When the fire department arrived, there were people trying to evacuate as many animals as possible, Vincent said. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, "Wildfire destroys homes and forces evacuations in northern California," 4 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'evacuate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of evacuate

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for evacuate

Middle English, to draw off morbid humors, from Latin evacuatus, past participle of evacuare to empty, from e- + vacuus empty

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Time Traveler for evacuate

Time Traveler

The first known use of evacuate was in the 15th century

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Statistics for evacuate

Last Updated

26 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Evacuate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/evacuate. Accessed 7 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for evacuate


How to pronounce evacuate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of evacuate

: to remove (someone) from a dangerous place
: to leave (a dangerous place)
medical : to pass (solid waste) from your body


evac·​u·​ate | \ i-ˈva-kyə-ˌwāt How to pronounce evacuate (audio) \
evacuated; evacuating

Kids Definition of evacuate

1 : to leave or cause to leave a place of danger Residents evacuated the burning building.
2 : to make empty : empty out
3 : to discharge waste matter from the body


evac·​u·​ate | \ i-ˈvak-yə-ˌwāt How to pronounce evacuate (audio) \
evacuated; evacuating

Medical Definition of evacuate

transitive verb

1 : to remove the contents of evacuate an abscess
2 : to discharge (as urine or feces) from the body as waste : void

intransitive verb

: to pass urine or feces from the body

Other Words from evacuate

evacuative \ -​ˌwāt-​iv How to pronounce evacuative (audio) \ adjective

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